WHO publishes handbook to improve food safety

15 June 2021

Article: 55/2407

The World Health Organization (WHO) has developed a handbook to help countries measure their foodborne disease burden, and identify food safety system needs and data gaps.

The WHO state that every year 600 million cases of foodborne illnesses are reported. In 2010, 420,000 people died due to diseases such as Salmonella and Escherichia coli infection, a third of them children under five years of age. The WHO estimate that this figure is increasing annually, but it is difficult to get a clear picture of the real impact foodborne diseases are having around the world.

This handbook provides detailed guidance on assessing the burden of diseases caused by microbiological agents commonly transmitted through foods, is particularly intended for use at national level, giving a complete picture of the requirements, enabling factors, challenges and opportunities involved, and the steps in the process. The handbook also aims to foster harmonization of methodologies for estimating foodborne disease burden across countries.

Source: WHO, 7 June 2021